Catzteach’s reading (and other) adventures of 2019
This is a continuation of the topic Catzteach’s reading (and other) adventures of 2018.
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I actually had enough posts in my thread to do a continuation! I hope I’m doing it right. :)
Here’s to a brand new year with new goals, new books, and new adventures!
I read 85 books in 2018 so I’ll attempt to match that in 2019.
My running goal is to run a marathon. I’ve signed up for a training group which starts this Saturday. The marathon is at the end of April.
I want to ride at least 400 miles this year. I barely made my goal of 300 last year, but I rode 500 miles in 2017 so 400 is doable.
I also want to be more present and on devices less.
Here we go!
Happy new year! I hope 2019 brings you great adventures in books and in real life. Good luck making your goals!
Well if you're running and biking you probably aren't on your phone! Good luck with all that and have a fabulous 2019!
Welcome, all! I hope this year brings all of us many reading and other joys.
Started my marathon training today. The group ran six miles. They took us up a rather tough hill, but the rest of the route was fine. It was great to meet other runners. Some were experienced, some are doing their first marathon. I’m excited to learn and improve.
>9 catzteach: I look forward to being on your support team when you come here to run the Comrades!
Thanks, gentlemen. Hugh, one thing about running I like is I could find an event anywhere! Cycling events are harder to come by.
Just finished my first book of 2019. European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman it is a sequel to The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much. It is rather long, 706 pages, and I felt it dragged a little bit. It took some effort to continue with it and I wasn’t super excited to pick it up around the 500 page mark. One other thing that bugged me was the way Diana was talking. She was using phrases that seemed modern, not something someone would say in the 1890s. Things like rolling her eyes and saying “whatever.” Or saying “as if.” This one ended with an opening for a third. Not sure if I’ll read it. I definitely won’t hunt for it, but if I happen to see it on the library shelf, then maybe.
>12 catzteach: There's always the AmaShova-Shova (cycling) here every October ;-)
>13 hfglen: That would be fun! Maybe some day I can save enough to get to your part of the world.
Further to #13, here is the official AmaShova website. I see they are sponsored by Tsogo Sun, our premier chain of overpriced accommodation. Thank goodness yours would be free! (I am reminded of the friend, alas now deceased, who never referred to one of the "recommended" hotels on this site as the "Heavenly Bills".
Happy New Year, catzteach! Best of luck with your reading and your training in 2019. And may all of the humans & felines in your household have a healthy year.
Finished As Old As Time yesterday. A different take on Beauty and the Beast. In this one, Belle’s mom is the Enchantress who cursed the Beast. I can’t really say more than that because I’d be saying too much and give spoilers. It was a fun version and I would recommend it.
Finished Everything I Never Told You last night. I read it for my book club. It was very depressing. It's the story of a family whose 15 year old daughter/sister has died. She is found in the nearby lake. The story hops back and forth between how the family got to this point and how they deal with Lydia's death. The family is dysfunctional and sad. I was pretty glad I finished it.
Not a book post, just a what's going on in life post:
Last night my 18 year old cat, Teddi, had an episode. We think it was a seizure or a stroke. We aren't sure. We found her lying on her side in distress. She tried to walk and couldn't. So we took her to the ER vet. I texted our vet tech friend, the one who comes and gives her fluids every week, because I knew she'd want to know if Teddi died. And we really thought we were going to have to put Teddi down. She said she'd come to the clinic to sit with us. We were in the patient room when she showed up. She walked in and then in walked our regular vet! They were out to dinner with some work people so he decided to come, too. How nice is that? Then the ER vet walks in with Teddi. We couldn't even tell she'd had an episode. She was walking around and acting like she was wondering why we were all there. They did blood work, which came back fine, and we took her home. Our friend followed us home and gave Teddi extra fluids. The cat seems normal today. We will watch her and see if it happens again. She is 18, so we are cherishing every day we still have her.
I hope Teddi is ok, and doesn't have another episode. Must have been scary.
>20 catzteach: Sorry to hear about Teddi’s episode. Late nights at emergency vet clinics are not fun.
Hugs to you and cuddles to Teddi. We lost our 16-year-old to a similar "episode" just before Christmas, so I can offer extra sympathy.
>20 catzteach: I have an elderly kitty too and I know what you mean. Each day we still have her is a gift. I'm glad everything turned out OK for Teddi.
Thanks all. She’s doing really well this weekend. She even rushed to the food dish this evening!
Good to hear she have recovered, episodes like that is scary.
All my cats have deteriorated rather slowly into old age, thankfully... or not - sometimes it can be hard to tell when it's time to let go :'(
> 26 most of ours have had cancer so the decision has been a bit more cut and dry. But we've had two that I still wonder if we were a bit early with our decision. :(
This year I've decided to post my DNFs. I haven't ever really kept track of them and I'm curious to see how many books I give up on over a year. The first one is:
Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful Reading the jacket made me think it was going to be similar to Uglies, enhanced humans. Well, it is about medical advances that allow humans to survive major accidents and diseases. But each chapter was a different character's story and there really wasn't any plot that connected the chapters. I don't mind chapters telling different stories or different points of view, but give me a plot that ties it together. Without that, the book was just boring. So I stopped. I'll return it to the library tomorrow.
>27 catzteach: One of ours got lung cancer, that one was easy, as you say. It hurt, but she hurt, too.
Still, we waited for too long, thinking she was old and that's why she were so sedentary. It's been 18 years, and I can still se the hurt in her eyes when we decided to put her down...
>30 clamairy: I don't ever want to be pet free, either. They are just too much love!
I'm in the middle of a very long book and am not sure when I will finish it. I'm rather busy with marathon training and work, I don't get as much time to read in the evenings. But I'm enjoying the training and meeting some runners. I'm hoping it'll carry over into the summer and I'll have some people to run with then.
Teddi is doing fine. She hasn't had another episode that we know of. She's eating and walking around just fine. We do give her rides up the stairs now, though.
Sending stay well wishes to Teddi. I hope she doesn't have any more health scares like that.
Good luck with the marathon training. I am in awe of anyone who rises to that challenge.
>31 catzteach: I'm in the middle of two books like that. :( Enjoyable, but one doesn't get a sense of accomplishment.
>33 MrsLee: that’s what makes long books hard to read. I’ve been reading it forever and am only halfway done. And all the other books on my table are getting ignored.
I finally finished The Queen of Air and Darkness! All 800+ pages. It is a return to the Shadowhunter realm. The third in a series featuring Emma and Julian. There were about three different plots going on, hence the length. I really enjoyed the book and series. I also really like the Shadowhunter world.
I also finished listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I don't think I need to leave much of a summary. I am enjoying the books. I've got the fourth audio on hold.
In other parts of life, training is coming along. We ran 12.5 miles last week and ten this week. Part of our route this week had some ice on it. So I went off trail to avoid the ice, but I've done something to my ankle area. It's above the ankle. The Husband thinks it might be a high sprain. It doesn't hurt to walk or run, so I'm going to just keep on keeping on and see how it goes.
And now I'm off to type up my science lessons and read my math lessons for the week.
>35 catzteach: I am in awe of your training. Keep up the good work and don't get hurt! And I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the Potter books.
>36 clamairy: Thanks, Clam! Unfortunately, my leg is bugging me tonight after my run. We did stairs. It wasn't easy. I think I might have to take a couple of days to rest it. Hopefully it'll feel up to running on Saturday. I think we are supposed to do 12 miles.
Well, I just gave up on my third DNF of the year. The second one was Red Moon. It was just boring. The third is The Scorpio Races. I'm really bummed I couldn't get into this one. I've read two of Stiefvater's series and loved them. I just couldn't get into the characters with this one. Hopefully the book I've picked up off the TBR pile is a good one.
In other news, I'm taking the weekend off of training. My ankle was not happy Wednesday when I got done doing stairs. I've decided it needs rest and I've made a doctor appointment for Monday. He's a chiropractor that came highly recommended from others in the group. He's also a runner so he will understand the desire to get back out on the trails/roads.
The 100-year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared this was a book club book. If it hadn’t been, it’d be a DNF. As it was, I skipped a good chunk of it. Allen, the 100, climbs out of his window on his birthday. From there the book is two stories, the current adventure and Allen’s life story. I didn’t really care enough to read the parts that go back in time. The one I tried was quite boring. And I wasn’t enjoying the book anyway. So I read the parts about the current adventure. It ended up not being horribly boring but I’m glad I’m done. I also didn’t like the formatting/writing style. There was very little spoken conversation. Most conversation was in statement form, the author telling us what they said, rather than having them say it. And no quotation marks when they did actually speak. I don’t like either of those.
On a semi-happier note: my marathon training has not been stopped by my injury. Nothing sprained or broken, just muscle strain. I’m seeing a chiropractor for it. I managed to run 13 miles yesterday. I was super slow because of my injury, but I did it! Lots of stretching and foam rolling this week and hopefully next weekend’s 16 miles will be doable. So glad I can keep running!
>39 catzteach: Glad you're on the mend. Are you sure all these DNFs aren't because you're just not in a reading state-of-mind? This happens to me a couple of times a year.
>41 clamairy: hmm, I hadn’t thought about that. I thought I just wasn’t liking my books, but it very well could be I’m just not in the mood.
An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason This one is set during Shakespearean times. Once I was able to let go of the modern language, I really enjoyed the story. Katherine is a Catholic whose father has been killed by the queen's orders. She vows to get revenge and gets mixed up in a plot to kill the queen. Her part in this plot is to masquerade as a boy and get a role in one of Shakespeare's play. During the play, she will kill the queen. Unbeknownst to her, Toby, a watcher, has written the play to trap the assassins. He, too, has a role in the play and is investigating the other players to see which one might be the assassin. They are intrigued by each other and a relationship blooms. But can they get past all the lies they've told each other? And what will happen to Katherine after she kills the queen?
It was a fun read that I needed. Hopefully, the next few on my pile are just as entertaining.
In other news: I think I found the reason for all my leg/ankle pain while running. My shoes! I finally realized the pain didn't start until I started wearing new shoes. So yesterday I wore my old ones. I knew I would get a blister (and boy, did I) but I wanted to see if the other pain would be as bad. It was not. It was still there, I think because it's tender due to the other days I ran, but it wasn't as bad and today the leg/ankle feels great! The blister, not so much. :) So now I need to take the new shoes back and have someone there really analyze my gait to see what I need in shoes. The things we learn while training for a marathon. BTW, yesterday's run was 16.7 miles. My longest ever!
Whoa, I haven't posted since February!? I know I've read more than one book since then. Let me get my journal.
*leaves to get written journal*
Oh, good, I have read more than one book in that time. I just didn't post about them. So here goes:
The Magic of Melwick Orchard Isa's family bought the old Melwick Orchard. Shortly after, her six year old sister gets cancer. Isa feels invisible as her parents deal with her sister's ordeal. While in the orchard one day, she finds a magical tree. The tree, and a new friend, help her through this rough time. It's a good story for the kiddos.
The Lady's Guide Petticoats and Piracy this is a sequel of sorts to the Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue Felicity Montague wants to be a doctor, but in the 1700s that is not easy for a female to achieve. She learns that her childhood friend is marrying one of her medical idols so she travels to the continent to see if she can meet him and get a job as his assistant. Of course, things don't work out the way she had hoped. It was nice to return to the world of the Montague siblings. I like Felicity. She learned a lot about herself in this book.
And then there is Relic. This is a pretty good sci-fi that I picked up at the library on a whim. Ruslan is the very last human in the entire universe. They were all wiped out by a disease. He has been rescued by the Myssari. He goes to live with them. After a few decades, he convinces them to hunt for Earth. They find it and set out for it. He's hoping to encounter other humans. I won't tell you how it turns out, but I really liked it.
I've been busy with school and training. I've been lurking on other people's threads but ignoring my own. I'll be better in the future. Now I'm off to bed to sleep. I have a 20-miler tomorrow.
>44 catzteach: Whew, it is "tomorrow." May your 20-miler go without incident and be a wonderful day for you!
It went great! I did a better than normal tempo and I ran up all the hills! Then one of the group invited us to a recovery place her friends opened. I experienced compression boots and an infrared sauna. The boots were odd; loved the sauna!
I’ve read two since my last post.
The first is Rocket Men: the daring odyssey of Apollo 8 and the astronauts who made man’s first journey to the moon. this was a book club book. It’s not my usual kind of read. It was pretty informative. I did skim it in parts, like the take off pages and the last part.
Discount Armageddon definitely more my speed. Supernatural meets Stephanie Plum. But Verity is definitely more capable and less bumbling. I will definitely be reading the rest of these.
In running news, I have another 20 miler this weekend. I’m a bit more nervous, though, because The Husband was “kind” enough to share his cough with me. Today’s 3 miles were tough. The marathon is three weeks away.
>53 catzteach: I'm really enjoying the Incryptid series. I love the variety of supernatural creatures and how they fit (or not) into the human world.
Good luck with your run! I am in awe of anyone who even attempts a marathon. It is a great achievement.
>54 Sakerfalcon: I think I’m going to like the whole series. I’ll get the next one as soon as I whittle down my current library pile.
Tin a kid’s book. The main characters are mechanicals, a kind of android, and one of them gets taken. The others go looking for him. They find their friend’s creator. It was an ok story.
Running news: did a 22 miler today. I’m super happy with my time and performance. I think I’m ready for the marathon.
The Witch Elm I heard lots of good things about this one. It was a good one. A mystery/suspense novel. Toby is a 20 something. He gets beat up one night when his apartment is burglarized. He gets pretty damaged. So he moves in with his uncle, who has been diagnosed with brain cancer and needs a caretaker. Then one day, a skull is found in the wych elm in the garden. And the mystery begins: who was killed; who is the murderer; how was he killed.
Running news: this week is the taper week. The marathon is Saturday. A few short runs and resting to get ready. I'm a bit nervous.
So you liked that one? I've been a Tana French fan since her first book came out, but I've heard so many mixed things about this one that I haven't taken the plunge. Can you say more without giving away anything? I heard Toby is a drip.
I have never read a book of hers before.
A drip? Yeah, he is not the nicest of people. Toby is a guy who has been rather lucky in life. Privileged and a bit clueless about other's troubles. He is one of those people who, because life was easy for him, doesn't really understand or believe when someone else has a hard time with life, especially his cousins. He was also a jerk in high school, but he didn't see it that way. "It was all harmless." But I still wanted to see who was behind the murder. And I liked Hugo and Melissa.
Finished An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors I started this one three different times. I think those just weren’t the right times. Once I got into the book, I really liked it! It’s definitely not a book where the reader’s attention can wander. I’m glad I got hit with this book bullet.
In other news: my leg is still not working right. I can use a cane around the house, although I stumbled a little while ago so maybe I shouldn’t be using a cane. I have no idea what’s wrong with it. I can’t go back to work until I can walk on it. I go back to the orthopedic in a week. Hopefully I’ll be walking by then.
>61 catzteach: That doesn't sound good. I hope they find out what the problem is.
Thanks guys. Looks like I overdid it with the cane yesterday as my leg is sore today. Guess I need to learn patience a little more.
Finished Six Wakes last night. This was a fantastic read! It is set in the future. There is a six man crew on a spaceship heading to a distant planet to colonize it. The crew is made up of clones. During this time, it's not unusual for someone to choose to become a clone. One can live for hundreds of years because they just get a new body when they die. Well, one day the crew wake up from being newly created to find that all six of them had been killed. They have no memory of the last 25 years they'd been on the ship. They need to figure out which one is the killer and how they fix the ship. The characters all have complicated pasts. They were very interesting. I never figured out who the killer was; I like that in a suspense novel. I highly recommend this one!
>67 catzteach: Six Wakes was my first read 2019, and I too thought it very good. I think the level of tech was kind of disappointing seeing as this is an SF story, but the ethical and moral - and the suspense! - parts of the story was very good, as was the storytelling in itself.
Good to find someone else who enjoyed it!
>68 Busifer: >69 ScoLgo: Six Wakes was a little bit low on the tech part of it. The story itself made up for it.
In running/leg news: I am back from a PT appointment. She really thinks it's all muscular. The most current pain is my quad seizing up. She said part of it is mental, too. I'm scared at this point to trust the leg. Which is true. So while I work on the muscles, I also need to work on my head. I'll be using crutches while I work on both. My new mantra: "nothing torn, nothing broken, trust the leg". With luck, I'll be walking just fine by Monday and the orthopedic will wonder why I'm in his office. :)
Phew. Muscle is the fastest thing to heal besides skin. Tendon and bone = much harder. Good healing and mental strength!
>70 catzteach: Glad to hear that it's nothing worse than that. Hoping for a speedy recovery for you.
>67 catzteach: That does sound like a promising premise. I may have been grazed by that one.
E.T.A.: Ok! Ok! Stop. I read all the other comments on Six Wakes and am now admitting to having been hit by your book bullet.
Great to hear your leg is looking like having a full recovery. Keep the mantra going.
>75 pgmcc: you will not be disappointed!
Where the Crawdads Sing this book has gotten much hype in a FB group I belong to. There are 250 holds on it at the library! Although I liked it, it is not the best book I’ve read so far this year. I will gladly recommend it to others. It’s a good mystery and character story.
I’m walking without a cane, mostly.i need it if I want to go faster and when I get tired. So pretty optimistic the doc will release me.
Summer Knight the fourth Harry Dresden. I liked it! Is it just me, or did this one have more humor? I will continue my journey through The Files. :)
>78 MrsLee: that’s what I’ve heard!
>79 pgmcc: I hope you like it!
Leg news: I got the results of my MRI. It’s a grade 3 tibia stress reaction/syndrome. This means had I kept going, it would’ve ended up fracturing. I stopped in time. So a bit shorter healing period. Only 7 - 8 weeks. It’s already been 3. But my two half marathons in June are out. As are any other running events I wanted to do this summer. I might be able to do my cycling events. That remains to be seen. I do get to go back to work on Monday. And at least I will be able to run again.
>80 catzteach: I think that is good news, although difficult to adjust your goals to. May you heal quick and completely.
I will be sending you the first clue tomorrow for your hunt when you get to Newport. Please don't get too excited, due to the possibility of interception by an unknown person, the "prize" will be more in the hunting than the finding. Also short, so as to not take up too much of your resting and relaxing time.
Here's your first clue.
You must find one of the great human joys. Take your time, read what is written in the leaves, signed by MrsLee.
If you discover a potty mouth, you turned left too soon.
Imprudence a return to Gail Carriger’s steampunk England. I love these books!
>86 clamairy: thanks! I think I’m entering the hard part: my leg feels fine but I still can’t run on it. Three to four more weeks.
Throne of Glass Celeana is an assassin. She gets freed from slaving at a salt mine to compete for the Crown Prince to become the King’s Champion. There’s a bit of a love triangle with the Crown Prince and the Captain of the Guard both being interested in her. There is someone or something killing the competitors. Celeana discovers who/what is behind the deaths.
I read Maas’s Court of Thorn and Roses books and loved them. This one was good, but didn’t keep my attention quite as much. I’ll seek out the next one and see if it’s better.
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